The CFDA has announced this year’s nominees for the Fashion Fund award. Supported by Vogue and big retailers like J. Crew, the prize is a big deal for emerging designers, providing them with financial support and PR dream team. Without the title, Vera would still be the only Wang in the industry, Thakoon wouldn’t be dressing Mrs. Obama, and you’d have no idea how to pronounce Proenza Schouler. This year’s list features a range of designers that aren’t quite unknown, but are definitely not mainstream. Some of the lucky potentials are: Prabal Gurung, Billy Reid, and Joseph Altuzarra. (Heard of them?) Our number one choice? Jewelry designer Pamela Love.
Love is perhaps the only designer on the list to have really gotten some mainstream action. Her edgy collection, defined by slightly-grotesque casts of animal claws, teeth, and daggers, fit in with the touch ‘o goth revival that happened this past year. She smartly collaborated with some big outlets, creating a “Where The Wild Things Are” special collection with Opening Ceremony, and a “True Blood“-themed line for HBO. The good thing about Love’s designs is that while some of the pieces do sell for over $1,000, there’s also a range of more moderately priced rings in the $200-$300 range.